Violence Assessment and Intervention: The Practitioner's Handbook

Violence Assessment and Intervention: The Practitioner's Handbook

Violence Assessment and Intervention: The Practitioner's Handbook

Violence Assessment and Intervention: The Practitioner's Handbook


The principle focus of this book is not sociological theory, or even clinical assessment, but practical intervention, monitoring, and control of violence. Unlike other books which focus on violence at work or in school, Violence Assessment and Intervention presents practical techniques for use in any situation, from an industrial security incident to the law enforcement officer encountering a potential suicide, to the threat of danger in a crowded airport. Using flow charts and step-by-step instructions developed while handling thousands of cases, the authors give practical advice on recognizing the signals of threat by individuals, identifying potential victims, and assessing escalation of the threat.


Welcome to our guide. We are writing this book for you, the practitioner who is faced on a regular basis with receiving calls from frightened people who want you to keep them safe. It doesn't matter whether you are a mental health practitioner, a security or human resources professional, an attorney, police, probation or parole officer, or a risk evaluator in the mental health field; when you receive that call you realize you do not have the luxury of having perfect information, but you may still need to act now. This book is for you.

Between the two of us, we have handled these phone calls for more than 40 years in a variety of contexts. This includes experience in federal and municipal law enforcement, and as consultants to federal and state agencies, as well as private and public corporations. We continue to handle them on a daily basis as part of our practice. Although this book's primary focus is anchored in North American laws and nuances, both of us have worked and continue to work internationally. From this experience, we have learned that core assessment and resolution principles, being behaviorally based, are universal, regardless of culture or geography.

We have structured the book into three main sections for the purpose of addressing different approaches to the material and to provide us an opportunity to show different aspects of the entire process. The first section, titled Fusion, will show the process and flow of our violence assessment model from the perspective of the initial call or “notice event” and the essential steps to initially quantify the situation as well as make the first decisions concerning proper and immediate response. We will show that it is in managing this “notice event” and understanding its place in the continuum of the behavior (what has come before and what may come after), success or failure of the resolution can be found. You may find this section reflects the most similarity with what you do every day; it will serve as an overview for the entire guide.

Section two, Assessment, has been structured to provide information concerning the essential informational components and processes required to provide a thorough and accurate assessment. The chapters in this section cover information gathering, victimology and formulas for assessment. In

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